Sanju (title character played by Ranbir Kapoor) is a biopic of Sanjay Dutt, a controversially popular Indian Bollywood actor. He was involved in aiding the terrorists to conduct the most horrific bomb blast that took place in Mumbai. He was also involved with underworld operations, drug abuse and adultery. He also served jail time and is now out.

The movie Sanju is directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The duo collaborated with Sanjay Dutt to make 2 iconic and popular blockbusters Munnabhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munna Bhai. They made a lot of money and the movie helped dilute the actor's image of the above crimes a bit.

Sanjay Dutt is a close friend of the director-producer duo and also turned out to be a golden goose for them in terms of money and acclaim.

So, have Rajkumar Hirani/Vidhu Vinod Chopra addressed this glaring conflict of interest regarding their movie, which is based on a controversial figure who also happens to be their close friend and who was one of the reasons they made a lot of money in the past? Have they addressed this in any interview?

  • @Rahul Why did you remove your comment explaining your close-vote?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 30, 2018 at 16:53
  • This question does not pertain to the movie in question, movies in general or film making. This seems to be more about the relationship shared between the director/producer and the subject of the biopic and how that may be a conflict of interest. In its current form this question is not suitable for this site. For more clarification please look at this help section.
    – Sayan
    Jul 2, 2018 at 17:59
  • This question seems very much pertaining to the movie and the circumstances of its production as well as its public reception. It is about the relationship between the director/producer and how it effected the production of their film. In its current form this seems perfectly suitable for this site.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 9, 2018 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


So, after all this time, Rajkumar Hirani has finally spoken about the alleged whitewashing of Sanjay Dutt & his conflict of interest. Following are the excerpts from his interview with NDTV

Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani has admitted that he made a deliberate attempt to 'create empathy' for the subject of his biopic Sanju - actor Sanjay Dutt - by shooting some additional portions.

Hirani justifies this by saying that after the first edit was screened for people, they hated it as the central character of the movie had no empathy.

"They said we don't like this man, we don't want to watch him". Initially he disagreed but "But later I understood that he is our hero, we need some empathy for him"

He created empathy for Sanjay Dutt by shooting a suicide scene after hearing the verdict of the Supreme Court which was not in the original script.

Coming to the conflict of interest part directly he said that

"My perception of Sanju was that he has done so many weird things but he is not a bad man... I felt he had an innocence, he is naughty but he doesn't harm anyone. He didn't pick up the gun, scared people or fired a shot. He made a mistake."

Raju Hirani straight up denied that his relationship with Sanjay Dutt influenced his decision making with respect to his film Sanju concluding that

"I am not defending the man but myself and the film"

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